Today gambling regulators in Nevada will vote on whether or not to let the state become the first in the country to allow online poker licenses. If regulators move forward, residents will be able to place bets in the comfort of their very own homes. On the national front, Congress is considering lifting a ban on Internet wagering, but as long as the gaming commission can show bets are being placed from within the Nevada, a system that could be up and running by late next year, the state could start up operations.

Nevada may seem like the obvious choice, but many states are pondering the idea. It’s one way to make up for huge cash shortages. And the sharks are circling... as the Wall Street Journal reports: "In the event laws pass at the state or federal level, a variety of interested parties including Indian tribes, software companies, state lotteries, slot-machine manufacturers, overseas online-gambling operators and casino companies are already positioning themselves to share in the windfall."

If states start to allow online poker, one at a time, then big companies like MGM have to navigate each state’s requirements separately. That’s why MGM and Ceasars Entertainment have been lobbying Congress to lift the nationwide ban. Also, it’s not clear that enough people in one state could sustain the costs of running a site.

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